When Darien Southerland, 44, and his wife of eight years, Mary, woke up Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. with no power to their Smyrna home, the couple decided to be spontaneous and celebrate early.
“You know what, we were going to want to spend time together anyway,” Southerland said.
Southerland said the couple lives in a cove by a lake off Hurt Road, so he knew it would be one of the last locations to get power restored.
“I told her to get some clothes, we are going toward Cumberland and getting a hotel for Valentine’s,” Southland said.
Within 20 minutes the Southerlands had hit the road, driving through sleet.
Although some hotels were “price gouging” by charging up to $300 for a one-night stay, Southerland said, they chose a DoubleTree where he said the staff was fabulous, working 24 hours straight.
With their two grown children away at college, the Southerlands’ only concern was sneaking their dog through the hotel in a duffle bag.
“Needless to say we have had fun,” said Southerland, while checking out of the hotel Thursday morning.
Men bring home flowers,
shops prepare for deliveries
Southerland said it is a tradition to always get his wife and daughter flowers for Valentine’s Day. This year, he selected pink roses.
“I think I have been the most proactive guy in Cobb. I came home with my flowers Tuesday night,” Southerland said.
Southerland, who owns the BG AD Group Inc. advertising firm in Marietta, said he was told by his client, 1-800-FLOWERS, to pull all radio advertisements in Atlanta, possibly because the company could not meet the guarantee of Valentine’s Day delivery.
Even though one local flower shop may not be able to guarantee delivery today, Valentine’s bouquets will still reach homes by Saturday or Sunday.
Glenn Owens Jr., 68, said his parents started Owens Flower Shop 60 years ago off Atlanta Road. Now the boutique operates out of the West Marietta Crossing Shopping Center off Dallas Highway.
One bad season can hurt a small shop
Owens Flower Shop was open all day Tuesday, closed on Wednesday and by Thursday morning a skeleton crew was making bouquet arrangements.
“Hopefully we can get up to full speed as the roads clear,” Owens said.
The shop normally has a staff of 16 to 18 designers the week of Valentine’s Day, who arrange up to 200 bouquets a day.
“Valentine’s is our single busiest holiday,” with 500 to 600 orders, Owens said.
With warnings about the impending ice storm, Owens said his staff spent last weekend filling the cooler with arrangements of fresh flowers from South America that are waiting to be tagged and delivered.
“We will take care of our customers and everyone will get their Valentine’s flowers,” Owens said.
Still, Owens said the bad weather could impact his small operation, which during the Valentine’s season offers “cash and carry roses.”
For $17.49, a lover can stop into Owens Flower Shop to purchase a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates.
Because that product is not a preorder, it relies on walk-in traffic during the week. There was none of that on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.